How to Choose the Right Learning Management System (LMS)
One of the best ways to implement organized and customizable eLearning today is with Learning Management Systems. Over the past decade, these systems have proven their effectiveness to course developers, instructional designers, educators, and most importantly students.
In this article, various topics will be discussed around the idea of what a Learning Management System should really provide. But before we start, lets start with one basic question....
What is eLearning?
The broad definition of eLearning is technology to deliver learning and training programs. Typically used to describe media such as CD’s, Internet, Intranet, Cloud, Wireless, and Mobile Learning. This increasingly popular form of education has been adopted by higher education institutes, as well as businesses, to provide a means of education for participants.
How does a LMS work?
A Learning Management System is a framework that delivers and manages instructional content; it must assess individual and organizational training goals, tracks the progress towards meeting those goals, and collects data for supervising the learning process of the organization as a whole.
What makes a LMS so effective?
The most effective element of a LMS is the user experience; both the front end for the learners, and the back end for whoever's administering the tasks. This is similar to being in a classroom setting because many learners perform only as well as the information is presented. eLearning (especially self-paced eLearning), must drive engagement with planning, monitoring, and most importantly creativity.
4 Must-Have’s of a LMS :
1. Engaging Interface
The importance of a good interface really can’t be overemphasized. If learners can’t easily find their way around an LMS, they’ll become frustrated and give up. This is why Instructional Designers, and UX Designers have been trying to find the perfect layout for learners.
Responsive design plays a large part in designing these systems. LMS’s have to be scalable and maintain consistency. The term ‘responsive’ has been adopted in the web development community as a means to describe the scalability of a web page on a multitude of different screen sizes. It has become an inevitable part of the eLearning process, that platforms must be able to adjust accordingly to all devices.
Consistency in design will not only help learners, but maintain an interface’s overall usability. Aesthetically, visual elements such as fonts, colors, links, headings, etc... need to be easily identifiable. Even more important, the framework or layout must be familiar to how people move around a webpage.
2. Achievement / Reward System
It’s the little details that are vital; little things can make big things happen. Many learners react positively to a reward system, in this interesting post by Kapp Notes, they discuss how a LMS design has to be developed similar to the way Game Developers prepare story lines and goals throughout a game.
Information must be clearly placed on learning paths which become a vital role in the eLearning process. Learning paths can provide similar achievement systems that games have. This has been called a ‘gamification process’. Self learning has to keep the learner entertained; entertainment will keep the learner interested and produce better results.
3. Real-Time Management (RTM)
Task administrators also play a large role in the eLearning process; they must prepare a curriculum, on the LMS, with course material and discussions equivalent to a real classroom setting. The roles and responsibilities of a administrator are more timely then one may think; to keep the course moving well, they must use real-time management.
4. Centralized Tracking
Are you the type of person who dreams in pie charts, and graphs? Well now more then ever, your dreams are a reality! Content Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been using them to track, analyze, and produce scalable results for administrators to create better learning paths.
Just like the dashboard in a car; LMS’s will now show you centralized tracking of all the moving parts in the LMS. This has become extremely helpful in tracking individuals engagement and comprehension of material.
Tech guru’s and leaders have come up with many new terms to describe this newly founded centralized tracking systems. Some of these terms include; dashboard, newsfeed, wall, panel, console, and desk. This new usage of words (ordinarily referred to something else) now serves a new purpose to LMS and CMS systems.
As you consider what Learning Management System is right for you, just sign up for a complementary assessment, and one of our account executives will give you a free, personalized assessment and demo.
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About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.